Crucial Bypolls

Rameez Makhdoomi

The upcoming by elections to Lok Sabha seats of Anantnag and Srinagar Parliamentary seats are slated to be much  crucial from the political realities paradigm. Pertinently, just few days back the  Election Commission of India (ECI) announced schedule for Bye-Elections to Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha Constituencies according to which elections on these seats would be held on April 9 and April 12, 2017, respectively.

With this  announcement of the election schedule, Model Code of conduct comes into force with immediate effect in the districts in which the whole or any part of the Parliamentary Constituencies going for bye-elections is included.

On ground zero, the elections are said to have bearing on the electoral prospects of parties ruling in the state. The PDP-BJP Government came into existence in Jammu and Kashmir to surprise of many after the fractured verdict of 2014 elections and since  then the journey of the government has been quiet turbulent. Just after becoming Chief Minister the health of PDP Stalwart and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed worsened and the condition gradually deteriorated, and he was put on ventilator support. Finally he died on 7 January 2016 due to multi-organ failure  leaving the government in limbo.

After much parleys and governor rule for few months PDP BJP Government again stitched alliance and this time created history as Mehbooba Mufti on April 4, 2016 became the first woman to hold the office, she succeeded her fatherMufti Mohammad Sayeed in the role, a few months after his death in January 2016. Mehbooba is India’s second Muslim woman chief minister after Syeda Anwara Taimur of Assam.

Pertinently, the euphoria lived very short as the agitation post killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016 dented image of Mehbooba Mufti. It is in this back drop the upcoming elections hold a key with experts stating that having presided over so many deaths, blindings and injures it is difficult for ruling PDP to win the elections.

Bilal Bashir Bhat, a Journalist Stated – “ Considering what has happened in the past two years of PDPBJP rule in the state and a manner in which tough times have engulfed the state make the journey to victory tough for the ruling coalition.  With so many killings, injuries and issue after issue surfacing It would be tough task for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to retain both the Lok Sabha seats. Certainly the contest looks all the more interesting. anti-incumbency factor, PDP’s joining hands with BJP and civilian killings  in Valley last year , the ruling party may find it difficult to retain both the seats.”

The verdict day would be certainly one to be worth analysis for major political players on PDP,BJP, NC, Congress.